Telecommunications Service Quality
July 2009, the CPUC issued a Decision adopting
Order (GO) 133-C,
which specifies telephone service quality standards for network technical
quality, customer service, installation, repairs, and billing. These service quality standards are intended to protect the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of consumers.
In response to widespread service outages, the CPUC issued its Telephone
Carrier Service Quality Report”
in March 2011. This report examined data provided by telephone companies and documented widespread sub-standard service quality. For example, the Report provided details regarding outages in AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks that impacted 250,000 customers in
Southern California during the winter storms of December 2010 and January 2011.
December 2011, the CPUC initiated a Rulemaking to:
telephone companies’ performance in meeting service quality standards.
whether existing GO 133-C service quality standards and measures are
adequate and relevant to the current market and regulatory environment.
whether there is a need to establish a penalty mechanism for sub-standard
May 2012, the CPUC issued a Ruling
requiring telephone carriers to provide data on issues such as:
outages of 2010-2011
standards for service quality
networks are monitored
CPUC Orders a Network Infrastructure Study
February 2013, the CPUC issued a Decision
directing CPUC staff to hire a consultant to evaluate the state of carrier network infrastructure, and ordered AT&T and Verizon to split proportionally the
costs of the study based on their respective share of total intrastate revenues.
The cost of the study was capped at $1.5 million.
On August 27, 2015, the CPUC issued a further Decision, ordering staff to initiate the infrastructure study and providing deadlines to ensure timely completion.
2014 CPUC Staff Report
September 2014, the CPUC issued a Ruling asking
parties to comment on its Staff Report, “California
Wireline Telephone Service Quality Pursuant to General Order 133-C, Calendar
Years 2010 Through 2013,” which includes:
on the performance of wireline carriers under the CPUC’s current
measurement and reporting standards.
that AT&T and Verizon failed to meet standards for Out of Service Repair
Intervals and Verizon failed to meet standards for Answer Time.
penalty / incentive methodology
to the methodology of Out of Service Repair Intervals
quality rules on interconnected VoIP and wireless carriers
February 2015 CPUC Staff Proposal
February 2, 2015, the CPUC issued a Ruling with its Staff's Proposal, and
seeking stakeholder input on proposed modifications to General Order 133-C that would require:
- A penalty / incentive mechanism for chronic failure to meet service quality standards.
outages to the CPUC concurrent with FCC Network Outage Reporting Systems (NORS)
outage reports for Interconnected VoIP
CPUC Proposed Modifications to Reporting Outages and Disruptions for
December 29, 2015, the CPUC issued a Ruling
proposing updates to its General Order 133-C regarding telephone service quality
standards. The CPUC Ruling proposes to adopt the FCC's rules for reporting
communications disruptions and outages for all communications entities under
CPUC jurisdiction (aka Network Outage Reports System - NORS).
CPUC Proposed Decision
On March 22, 2016, the CPUC issued a Proposed Decision that would adopt:
- A mechanism to apply fines for chronic failure to meet service quality standards.
- Reporting outages to the CPUC concurrent with FCC Network Outage Reporting Systems (NORS).
CPUC Proposed Alternate Decision
On June 22, 2016, Commissioner Sandoval issued an Alternate Proposed Decision, which contains additional provisions to the Proposed Decision, including:
- A requirement to report service outages in rural areas with reporting thresholds tailored to these sparsely populated areas.
- A requirement that certain interconnected VoIP providers report on their performance in meeting GO 133-C standards.
- A subsequent phase of the proceeding to consider additional service quality standards appropriate for VoIP and wireless voice service.
CPUC Final Decision
On August 18, 2016, the CPUC adopted the Proposed Decision.
Modification to CPUC Rules for Service Quality Standards
supports the proposal in the CPUC's December 29, 2015 Ruling to require interconnected Voice
over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and wireless providers to provide a copy of their
Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) reports, which they file with the FCC.
NORS reports provide relevant public safety information that the CPUC should
monitor to ensure the reliability and quality of services provided by all
As the number of VoIP California subscribers continue to
increase due to the adoption of newer technologies, it is necessary to monitor
all service outages to ensure that California consumers can rely on their
ORA's February 12, 2016 Comments
on updates to CPUC General Order 133-C.
ORA Proposal for Modification of CPUC General Order 133-C
supports key elements of the February 2015 Staff Proposal, including:
penalties for chronic failures to meet the minimum standards.
outages concurrent with FCC Network Outage Reporting.
the application of the minimum service quality and reliability standards to
wireless and all interconnected VoIP service providers.
In order to ensure service quality and public safety, ORA
makes further recommendations, including:
the threshold for reporting major outages to 90,000 user minutes from
900,000 user minutes in rural areas, in order to ensure monitoring of all significant outages in sparsely populated areas.
- Extending the application of the minimum service quality and reliability standards to wireless and all interconnected VoIP service providers.
outage reporting to include not just customer-initiated trouble reports but
also outages discoverable by telephone corporations.
March 30, 2015 Opening Comments on the February 2, 2015 CPUC Staff Proposal.
April 17, 2015 Reply Comments.
October 24, 2014 Opening
Comments on the CPUC’s September 2014 Staff Report.
November 13, 2014 Reply
Comments on the CPUC’s September 2014 Staff Report.
Visit the docket to see a full record of the case, as well as to subscribe to proceeding updates.
Telecommunications Carriers’ Service Quality Reports